The technique of putting ships in bottles was developed during the early 19th century. On ship voyages that lasted months or years, sailors developed nautical folk art such as scrimshaw and impossible bottles during their off-watch time aboard a ship. There are several ways to put a ship inside a bottle. The simplest way  is to rig the masts of the ship and raise it up when the ship is inside the bottle. Masts, spars, and sails are built separately and then attached to the hull of the ship with strings and hinges so the masts can lie flat against the deck. The ship is then placed inside the bottle and the masts are pulled up using the strings attached to the masts. The hull of the ships must still be able to fit through the opening. I had a great time working on this tattoo for Joe while he was visiting Minneapolis. He got this tattoo for his Dad, who is a tugboat captain, and I really enjoyed hearing all his crazy stories! Thanks again Joe!